(AA) – North Korea ramped up hostilities towards the United States on Wednesday, with Pyongyang issuing an English-language statement threatening Washington with war.
The isolated country’s Defense Commission maintained its claim that the U.S. is driving the Korean Peninsula towards conflict with regular joint military exercises with South Korea.
“Now that the gangster-like U.S. imperialists’ military strategy towards the DPRK is inching close to the stage of igniting a war of aggression, the just counteraction of the army and people of the DPRK will be focused on inflicting the bitterest disasters upon the United States of America,” the statement said.
Pyongyang uses the acronym DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) rather than referring to itself as North Korea.
The U.S. “should be mindful that the time of nightmares is coming nearer when they will meet the most disastrous, final doom on the U.S. mainland,” the statement warned, adding that it was issued at “the authorization,” of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Ties between the two sides remain taught after the U.S. accused the North of cyber warfare after Sony Pictures came under attack ahead of its eventual Christmas Day release of “The Interview” – a movie depicting the attempted assassination of Kim.
As recently as earlier this week, the North had appeared open to talks with the U.S. after Washington had offered dialogue with its chief nuclear envoy Sung Kim – but Pyongyang’s insistence on holding any meeting on North Korean soil led to the plan breaking down.
Adopting a more defiant tone Wednesday, the commission’s statement insisted that the North no longer had “the need or willingness to sit at the negotiating table with the U.S. since the latter seeks to stamp out the ideology of the former and ‘bring down’ its social system.”
Pyongyang had already recently criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for suggesting last month that the collapse of North Korea’s leadership was inevitable.
While heavily-sanctioned over its nuclear ambitions, the North does maintain close ties with both China and Russia – leader Kim looks set to visit Moscow this May.
Pyongyang has regularly used the threat of its weapons to keep the U.S. and South Korea at bay – nearly 30,000 American military personnel are stationed in the South as a peace treaty was never signed after the 1950-53 Korean War.
North Korea last conducted a nuclear test in 2013, and the threat by its National Defense Commission to make use of “smaller, precision and diversified” nuclear capabilities – along with cyber warfare – may prompt analysts to reflect on how far the North’s technology has progressed towards being able to reach the U.S. mainland with a miniaturized nuclear bomb.